Lori Nix
The City

Essay by Barbara Pollack

13.25 x 10.75 inches
37 four-color plates
76 pages, hardcover

ISBN 978-0-9833942-3-5

Over the past eight years, Lori Nix (born 1969) has created meticulously detailed model environments and then photographed them locations within a fictional city that celebrate modern culture, knowledge, and innovation. But her monuments of civilization and material culture in The City are abandoned, in a state of ruin where nature has begun to repopulate the spaces. “I am fascinated, maybe even a little obsessed, with the idea of the apocalypse. In addition to my childhood experiences growing up with natural disasters in Kansas, I also watched disaster flicks in the 1970s—Towering Inferno, Earthquake, Planet of the Apes—sitting in awe in the dark. Each of these experiences has greatly influenced my photographic work.” Nix considers herself a “faux landscape photographer” and spends months building the complex spaces before photographing them. Through the photographic process, each fictional scene is transformed into a surreal space where scale and perspective create a tension between the reality of the scene and the impossibility of the depicted tableaux narrative. As critic Sidney Lawrence wrote in Art in America: “Oddly endearing, terrifying, and often electrifyingly plausible, they prod us to ponder the fact that, like it or not, our fate is uncertain.”

Lori Nix has received many honors, including a 2010 and 2004 New York Foundation for the Arts Individual Artist Grant. Her work has been exhibited throughout the country and is represented in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; George Eastman House, Rochester, New York; Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas; among others.

Barbara Pollack is a writer, critic, artist, and educator, involved in contemporary art in New York since 1986. Her articles and reviews have appeared in Vanity Fair, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Village Voice, and Art in America, among others.